Well, here we are 4 years later... if somebody'd told me in 2009 that I'd write 100+ blog posts (some didn't see the light of day for various reasons) about the EA and Avoncliff over that time - I would have laughed in their face.
But here we are - and it's still a mess.
There are some things that are clear though.
EA managers and lawyers broke the law - several times. And it would seem that they simply do not learn from experience since they have "limitless" public funds to hose around to try and outspend any challenger to their interpretation of their own "authority" - bugger statutory duty, common law and especially The Civil Servants Code of Conduct....
A couple of recent events caught my eye - first there was this one - News International phone hacking superficially seems unrelated until you get to the actual issue... I was just thinking about keeping documents vital to a High Court JR case hidden and ummm ... "hiding criminality". Naughty.
And then... in another case U.S. tech giant Raytheon get a wedge from The Borders Agency because they went along with that "Agency" who didn't know what they were doing and chose to cover up and hide official incompetence... "the tribunal criticised UKBA officials for failing to properly brief the home secretary" - funny that ... of course that'd never happen at the good 'ole EA would it?
With age come usually a bit of perspective.... so in the absence of a telegram from Buckingham Palace for getting to 100 I'll substitute a bit of stolen profundity that got my attention a few weeks back:
"I thought of the difference between virtue and piety, and saw that virtue is the doing of good, whereas piety is the avoidance of ‘wrong’.
In a world dominated by PC orthodoxy, and quota filling, the society will become ever more pious and less virtuous, simply because it is an easier state to achieve, especially if you have a vigorous ego but little talent to match it.
Giving more power to the State will increase malfeasance, as the talentless displace the virtuous, all the new power must be there to direct the cover-up of the ensuing systematic incompetence."(Stolen from here)
I never thought of The Environment Agency as being pious..... not that some officials seem overly bothered even about doing "wrong".